What Is Ganesh Chaturthi?
Ganesh Chaturthi or Ganesh Utsav is ten day Hindu festival celebrated in India and most prominently in western states like Maharashtra and Gujarat. Typically Ganesh Chaturthi falls on the fourth day of Hindu Lunisolar calendar month Bhadrapada(August-September). This festival is celebrated as a remembrance of Lord Ganesh’s birth.
When and Where Celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi?
Actual roots and maiden facts remain quite a history but popularly the celebrations are observed from the time of Shivaji Maharaja’s (one of Major Maratha emperor) rule. During Maratha rule, the festival used to be celebrated as a major social and public event. However during British Raj festival lost it’s light and was celebrated as a private family event, but Indian freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak brought the festival back to its original form and it boosted the unity against Britishers. From then, Ganesh Utsav is marked as one of the most popular fests celebrated across the country.
How One Celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi?
Preparation for idol making starts months before. Idols of Lord Ganesh are made up of clay and bamboo(earlier plaster of Paris was used as well but due to environmental concerns it was banned). Some create their idols out of newspaper and other such materials as well. Idols are then painted beautifully and decorated with other materials, some people dress idols with gold ornaments.
Generally, 2-3 days prior to Ganesh Chaturthi idols are brought to pandal(temporary stage made for Ganesh sthapna) along with celebrations which include dancing on local music and bursting crackers also Dhol-Tasha(Indian music instruments) are played majorly during this time. This is one of the best things everybody should witness at-least witness once.
On the morning of Ganesh Chaturthi idol is placed in pandal with the chanting of hymns and aarti-puja. Sweets and especially Modak are offered as Prashad which is later distributed among people. Daily Aarti is done twice, once in the morning and other in the evening.
On the 10th day of fest after performing morning aarti idols are immersed in water bodies generally rivers and sea.
Modern Trend In Celebrate
Today people are getting more crazier about the festival and as a result, one can find Ganesh murti(idol) in every fifth home and each and every street. Also at some places, various competitions such as aarti-thali decoration, toran making, best out of waste, dance/music performances are arranged which boosts the atmosphere beautifully.
Some people collect fund during this time and donate to orphanages and needy people. Such practice creates the festival’s best moments to be cherished.
Most Famous One
Even though this charming festival is celebrated across the country, the most famous is “Lal Baug cha raja”(king of Lal Baug) at Mumbai. Idol at Lal Baug is said to be the tallest and heaviest, and it is believed that bowing down to Lal baug’s Raja helps you to fulfill all your wishes. The great idol is dressed in gold ornaments and rich clothing. The place remains highly crowded throughout the fest as people from all over the country pays a visit. The divine atmosphere here cannot be matched anywhere else.